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Skills boost to support more people into jobs

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Nine new Institutes of Technology and a multi-million-pound investment in skills and technical training to level up opportunities for everyone

Adults and young people across the country will benefit from more high-quality and flexible education and training – levelling up opportunities and supporting more people into higher skilled, higher wage jobs.

People looking to upskill or retrain will have access to more than 100 short courses starting from September next year, lasting between six weeks to a year, supporting them to space out their studies and learn at a pace that works for them. More than 20 universities and colleges will offer the courses in subjects where there are skills shortages, such as Digital, Net Zero, Education, STEM and Healthcare – offering an alternative to studying a traditional three-year degree.

A further nine Institutes of Technology have been announced today (Friday, 17 December) in locations including Blackpool, Derby, Salford and Essex, bringing the total to 21 across the country and delivering on the government’s manifesto commitment. Institutes of Technology are unique collaborations between employers, colleges and universities that specialise in offering high-quality Higher Technical Education and training in subjects such as advanced manufacturing, digital and cyber security, aerospace and healthcare, which will deliver the skilled workforce businesses need and get more people into jobs closer to home.

£150 million has also been awarded to 100 colleges and universities to upgrade their facilities and equipment to boost access to higher technical training and flexible courses in key subjects, such as engineering, healthcare and science, that will help tackle regional skills gaps and level up local economies.

Additionally, young people starting new T Level qualifications in 2023 in subjects such as Media, Broadcast and Production, Animal Care and Management and Catering are also set to benefit from over £150 million investment to upgrade teaching facilities and equipment.

The Department for Education has also confirmed that students studying courses including T Levels will benefit from an extra £615 million cash boost in the 2022-23 financial year so every young person can continue to access the training they need to succeed. The cash injection will see per student funding boosted by over 8%. This includes funding for an extra 40 hours of education per student to help them catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic. On top of this, funding for high value courses – those that deliver the skills that the country needs and which can lead to higher wages for students – and high cost courses including building and construction will also be increased.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:

“Ensuring everyone is given the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter their age or life stage, is a vital part of our mission to level up this country.

“These measures, including our new short courses and nine new Institutes of Technology, will boost access to more high-quality and flexible education and training – giving people the chance to learn at a pace that is right for them, while ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to boost our economy.”

Colleges including Weston College, Somerset, and universities including University of Wolverhampton and Keele will offer the short courses, which will help people to fit training around their lives while helping to plug local skills gaps. Student finance will also be available to students taking the courses, marking the next step in the development of the government’s Lifelong Loan Entitlement, which, from 2025, will provide individuals with a loan entitlement to the equivalent of four years of post-18 education they can use flexibly over their lifetime.

Funding has been awarded to Nottingham College to create a new Laboratory Science and Innovation Centre to expand their training offer, along with Roehampton University that will deliver a new Healthcare hub to support more higher technical, apprenticeships and flexible modular training. These are just two of the 100 successful further and higher education providers that will lead projects to modernise facilities as part of the Office for Students’ Strategic Priorities Grant.

From today, colleges, schools and sixth forms delivering T Levels can bid for a share of over £150 million – from the fourth wave of the T Level Capital Fund. The funding will be used to refurbish buildings and facilities, including creating training kitchens for catering students, studios for media students, and facilities for agricultural courses such as trainee milking parlours or labs to learn about land science in readiness for students starting courses in September 2023.

A further 12 projects totalling £16 million supported by wave 3 of the T Level Capital Fund have also been announced today, bringing the total to 77 projects that will provide new buildings and facilities for students studying T Levels from September 2022. Successful projects include Gateway Sixth Form College in Leicester, awarded funding to create a dedicated health suite and a central learning resource space for students, and UTC South Durham, awarded funding to extend their engineering hall, to include two engineering workshops and an IT suite.

The Chancellor announced in the Budget that an extra £1.6 billion would be invested in 16-19 education and training by 2024-25 compared with 2021-22 financial year. Today the Department for Education has published details of how £615 million of that funding will be invested next year.

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